Neymar Jr., UEFA Champions League, Paris Saint-Germain F.C. vs. Bayern Munich preview: World's best Lewandowski and Neymar face off for UCL glory | ESPN FC
Robert there’s, a real sense of excitement around this, and rightly so. It’S almost the same, you feel as a world cup final, because the way in which it’s been all put together i’ve got people reaching out for me from england who only normally watch a premier league, the brazilian family excited about neymar. There are so many subplots about this game and there’s, a man who watches a lot of football and a lot of rubbish football at that this should be brilliant shouldn’t. He it should be a great game. We’Ve got two excellent sides: we’ve got a team in paris. Saint germain they’ve got a great front line. If they come off, they could cause biomunica all sorts of problems. We’Ve got to buy a munich side that are scoring goals left right and center. Both have a certain style of play. They both have their own philosophies. It all depends which side have to change their philosophy because they’re forced to – and i think, that’s going to be psg they’re going to have to play on the counter attack at times, because bayern are going to press high up the field they’re going to make it Difficult for psg to play out from the back, but if they do get opportunity to get it into neymar and a bit of space in behind the front players, and then they get them bape running and di maria running. That could be the way they get through.
But it’s going to be a great game, i’m sure it is shaka, even though it’s airing during prime nap time. Surely even you can stay awake for this one yeah i’ve set my alarm down, so we will be all right but yeah. This is a game, understandably, that that everybody’s looking forward to not just what’s going on or not going on, as the case may be outside, but just the whole build up to this tournament. The fact that they’re all in one place that it’s a one game, elimination or has been for the last couple of rounds and in van munich and psg you’ve, got unquestionably the best two teams um at this moment play contesting the final and, at the same time, You’Ve got robert lewandowski, who, had there been a ballon d’or, surely would have won it and neymar who potentially and if anything, we’ve seen from him over the last couple of weeks is, is anything to go by? Is the best player in world football right now? So it makes for a a thrilling match up on so many different levels. How are you jules, i’m i’m? A bit stressed. I can feel the stress level getting up and up i’m okay, i’m let’s talk about this from a from a french perspective, then starting off, shall we so much money has been pumped into this psg and it served up so much disappointment up to this level. It’S not, though, do or die.
Is it because it’s by munich it’s already a progression it’s already an improvement to anything that they’ve been through before? Because since the qatari took over in the summer, 2011 they’ve only done quarter final quarter final and then last 16 and so already already there’s something positive about it. Of course, if you lose the final you’re very disappointed – and you feel this is an opportunity missed and – and you don’t know when you will back there again of course, but but it’s already much better than anything we’ve seen before at the club, so so on. That is on that it’s a it’s, a positive note dennis against bayern who have won five already, who have played ten finals, bayern and germany. The rivalry in football with france is is really big. A club level let’s remember the 1976 european cup funnel between munich and sante tien, for example, in hampton park, all the world cup the euros where france and germany are pretty good, so there’s that narrative as well in there plus. This is by munich who at times, have been very critical of psg of the qatar money of the old money and the way this team has been built and the way this club has improved in the last nine years, so there’s so much in it. That i think, of course, psg would love to win it for all this reason, i think to to prove a lot of people wrong, and the law of hate is wrong, but there’s also a case of this is already amazing, and this is such a progress already, That, okay, if we lose it, we still have so much momentum to go forward and go there again and this time winning it let’s not forget.
This is the first final ever in the champions league for the club. This is the biggest game in the club’s history. So they’re very excited, i think, to be there they’re looking forward to it, but there’s. Also that element of this is already very, very positive. The the criticism that we would throw at psg uh warranted as well often would be it’s too individualistic there’s, no sense of team. It was interesting reading your article, jules over on the website that that has changed that there seems to be a real bond. What was the trio? What was the catalyst for this change? So there was a big players gathering back at the end of february, at marco verratti’s italian restaurant in paris, the restaurant that he owns uh. It was on the back of of some really bad result that lost to dortmund away in the last 16 first leg. For example, they drew four four with amir. They now narrowly uh be boredo a few days before that, considering three goals only winning four three, so it was a mess they’re being criticized for the parties and the the birthdays and all of that – and it was, it was really. There was something toxic about the environment and they said like listen. We need to do something, something has to change, and that was before. We knew we would go on lockdown and that the pandemic would happen et cetera, et cetera, and i think winning against don’t win in a second leg, really brought something to that dressing room to toho as well.
I think they realized there that they had to make sure wanted mature in a way that they could also take their responsibilities and and get back to a game that didn’t really look on paper like they could win it and winning it. And i think, after that, during lockdown, they really got together on zoom, chords and whatsapp, et cetera, et cetera, saying, like listen, we’ve got the talent. We can do something good here. We just need to be more united. Have that solidarity that togetherness that the hunger of being all together, instead of being just the sum of individual talents really, and i think, kirin and baby, summed it up really well after the semi final against slapstick. He said in the press conference me and neymar realized that we could not do this on our own and i think, for a long time there was a real feeling for mbappe and neymar okay. This is our team and we’ve been born for a lot of money to deliver the champions league let’s. Do it let’s, do it ourselves? It doesn’t work like this, and i think they realized that as well and since that the bone, as you said, between the players, the way they’ve gelled, has really changed everything the dynamic at the club, the momentum for the players and also you see on the page, The way they play is far more as a collective than anything we’ve seen before, so that that’s, really a big change, doesn’t mean that it’s going to make them win the the final and really did they only be atalanta and live 16.
The the this new format, but i think, when you’ve got at least that basis it gives you a lot of strength going forward that’s the key point in robo as much as a nice story and everyone’s happy, we’re, all holding hands and everyone’s playing together. It has only been atalanta and leipzig, yeah you’ve got to remember. They were going into extra time or or injury time against atalanta. They were better than atalanta, they deserved to win the game, but they were still one nil down going into injury time, and then they got those two late goals and i think that’s what has bonded them that result has made them play much much better against leipzig. I thought they were excellent in that game, but it’s it’s, some of the other players are going to have to play really well in this herrera paredes. Are they going to go out and battle against the fallbacks of bayern munich they’re going to have to be the players that do the the hard grass so that the likes of them, bape and neymar and di maria, can go and show their talent going forward? It’S? Some of those less the lesser knight players that are gon na have to play at their very best in this game. Uh it’s interesting and seen this progression from psg, but it’s been all on neymar, inevitably because of the way that he stepped up in those two games shaq and was clearly the best player on the pitch in both the semi final and the quarter final as well.
I felt and it’d be once again, despite the presence of killing in bappe and levandoski, you feel the responsibility of neymar to lead this psg team yeah. I think we’ve we’ve known for some time that neymar certainly has the ability to establish himself as as the air to the next best player on the planet once messi and ronaldo and father time catches up with them. I i also think that ever since arriving at paris, everybody’s been waiting for this from from neymar for him to really stamp his authority on the game and and in this team and too often he’s he’s failed to deliver during the last two last couple of seasons. It’S been because of injury, and at times as jews was pointing out. We spoke more about his birthday parties and then about his delivering in in big games for for psg, and then they lock down and then we’re coming out of the lockdown and then that game against atlanta, where all eyes were focused on him, and i think he Or she had every excuse to lose to to atalanta, given the fact that they weren’t playing competitive football. Yet i thought, despite the uncertain start, and i put that down to the break, neymar grew into that game and showed exactly how good a player uh he is. I i think, most importantly, we saw a serious side of neymar, a more focused side, uh of neymar during the course of that 90 minutes that i don’t think we’ve seen pretty much at this stage at this level since, since he arrived at palestine and the result Followed and the game and they continued to get better uh.
I spoke about his relationship with killing and bappy, and you saw that against leipzig. That has to continue and – and i i’ll disagree with julian – and i think this is this – is dual diaper for psg, because i’m, not so sure that psg can keep hold of both neymar and bappy at the end of the season. I i’ll be surprised if they keep hold of any. I sincerely doubt if they keep hold of both, which puts them on the part of another little bit of a rebuilding project and right now, you’ve got one game to lift this trophy that you spent all this money on. I i don’t think you look any further down the road than band munich. Neymar is an interesting figure jules because you speak to anyone who knows anything about football. They seem to have an opinion about him and normally it’s negative. You speak to brazilians, while he’s in it for the money you speak to other people, he’s, just all about diving and rolling around. This is a massive stage. Isn’T it to shut people up. It is, and i think he did, that a little bit to a certain extent in the quarter, final of the semi final and i think, it’s, a very different name out, certainly to the one that we’ve had in paris for the last three years now uh. I think, like, like i said for me, he’s playing the best football of his career even better than than the best year that he had at barcelona.
He he really expresses something very different than before in terms of his body attitude, his behavior, the way that he’s been talking in that team. The way he’s, you know even showing some love to paris, to the football club to some of his teammates, which never happened before, and i think i really think that he’s far happier in in his head in his life in the way he plays and it’s a Huge game, of course, if he, if he wins there for psg with the similar kind of performance that he showed against leipzig and atalanta, you know he he will be again. I think at the top of the game. Really, we are thought levandos here had a great season, others too, but he would be. He would be right up there. He would be the one who delivered that champions league and led that team, although as a collective, but still led that team to winning it. Finally, eventually, so it would be huge for him. I think already some people have changed their mind about it: there’s much less, diving, they’re, much less uh having those antics and rolling around and stuff like that, they’re much less strabouting for sure he looks far more humble than than than for a while really – and i Think he just needs now to almost validate it with a great performance on sunday night and winning it. You know we’re going to be sat here after the game.
Robbo talking about him in what context you think it will be uh. I think he’s going to be the playmaker he’s going to have to find that role in behind. I think he’s going to be a withdrawal, striker that’s, going to be key for psg playing as the withdrawn striker, because it’s going to make one of the blind center. Half have to come out or make one of the midfield players drop, that little bit deeper and if he can get himself turned and wriggle away from the first challenge and then find that pass in between the lines or in between the the defenders of buying from Bappe’S runs maybe for di maria’s runs. He is going to be the key player in terms of opening up bayern munich with his with his ability to go past. The first challenge then, have enough time to pick out the past. I still think psg aren’t going to win the game so i’m, not going to sure we’re going to be talking about him in gloving terms. I think he’ll have a good game, but not enough to win it. Uh let’s take a look at the um potential starting 11 jewels, starting off with uh psg. Where are the big question marks going into this tie? Uh? Obviously, the goalkeeper is now that’s gon na be back. He should be back in goal, which would be a big boost, huge boost, although sergio rico did okay in the semifinal against leipzig, but kelo navas is a level higher than that, not just with the experience of having won this competition before and many times with real Madrid, but also by the season that he’s been having the leadership that he has in that dressing, room and, and also because you know who the opposition is.
You know that for psu to win it they will need a keeper addie stop and i think fadah is huge and then the other one is marco varati. Is he fit enough to start and maybe give the team 60 minutes and then and then come off, or do you keep him on the bench and see how the game evolves and then maybe bring him on for the last half hour? If you need to or 20 minutes or something like that, it’s a big call for tomas to roll, i think because herrera has done well he’s, not as good technically as variety, but he runs the law. He’S got a greater name. He can press well again because of of the engine that he has and the running is a very intelligent player too. So this could work as well, depending on the game plan that you will set the team, but i still think that personally, i think i would risk variety, especially against that buy and press variety would be great for that, even if it gives you only an hour. I think you could benefit a lot from it and then you can bring your error on for the last half hour for the buying perspective, uh boateng looks like he will be fit. So are there any questions, or we know that starting 11 already jules? Well it you would not change a team that has won the last two games, a two and three, nearly in the quarterfinal of championing a semi final.
I guess that’s the idea, although you could make a few cases for kingsley command, for example, starting on the left hand, side ahead of perisic play against his former club against phd. Maybe he would have something to prove against them huge game for him, and he knows these teams, this paris team. So well, you know he’s been playing with kim pembe between the age of 11 and 19., so you know there’s. No. I don’t think there’s many secrets in this phd team for kings the command, so maybe that’s an idea. And what do you do i write back? Do you keep keemish there, although that means maybe not having the defensive solidity, that you would have from midfield with gorezka and thiago or pavar his back his feet again, you could bring power back up right, back move kimish in the center of the midfield, with gorezka. For example, and then kimis will help you protect that the back four, probably a bit more than chago and gorezka, would do and against this phd style, as we’ve been mentioned, will be very dangerous on the cancer attack on the break. Maybe key machine midfield is better than kimisha right back so again, a few question marks of the team. I think, for anti flick between now and tomorrow night. How tempted would you be to tinker with this team robo? I wouldn’t really be tempted. You know i agree with jules that kimik is a better central midfield player.
Pavard is a better right back than kimmy, but i’m not sure he’s going to be fully fit. So i think he’ll stick with the same team and thiago’s got a a big job on his hands, because he’s going to have to at times go back and deal with neymar when neymar comes that bit of it a little bit shorter, so that’s. The only reason that kim it could be placed into that midfield to try and deal with neymar shakur it’s interesting it’s, a preview and we’ve spent most of the times talking about psg and neymar. That is almost a compliment to bayern munich because we kind of know exactly what you’re gon na get from this team and team being very much that key, word yeah, of course, when, whenever you talk about by munich, inevitably you talk about lewandowski, given the season that He’S had, but at the same time, if you look at this semi, finally, you talk about serge nabory um, i from thomas muller um it’s such a collection of incredible players. Yet nobody stands out as a star, as we could probably pick over with just about every other team coming in coming to this competition and and that’s been their strength, historical strength in many respects for for bayern munich, despite the talent they put out on the squad, It’S it’s always about team and people buy into that and i’m sure they’ll. Have it no other way? Jules final point on this before i get your predictions, why is it such a big game for bernat yeah that’s, another narrative of of of this game playing against his former club and not just his former club, but a club that as well certainly ulejones, has been Very critical of of juan bernard publicly blaming him for a defeat in the champions league before which, which is it’s, not something that i don’t care, how willie honest sees his job but i’m.
Sorry as a ceo or sporting director, i mean at those top level jobs. You cannot criticize publicly a player for well. His band has fought if we lost tonight. I think this is outrageous, so i think he will have a law on his plate as well, trying to prove again a bit like command for different reasons. I think he saw there’s also a big nominative over to holland. Nancy flick: two german managers – i think he’s only the fourth time in the history that the two managers have the same nationality in it in the champions league or european cup finals, so it’s da rare and i think, there’s there’s a battle within the battle between flick And turtle back in germany too, so so many narratives so many stories and and as robo said at the beginning of the chat, let’s just hope, it’s a fantastic game right then boys prediction time, robbo you’ve already said that you think bayern are gon na win. It what’s the score yeah. I think final win by two goals to one brief: chaka uh yeah. Before i give my prediction: i’ve, been on a real european rule here predicted into milan with cruise parts severe in the europa league finals. So here it goes as i look at this one um poor semi final. I thought this was bad munich’s tournament to lose, but i thought leon certainly provided more trouble to buy a munich than the scoreline would suggest.
I think psg are stepped up from that they won’t play through the midfielders, as barcelona made the mid the mistake in doing they pin them back. The counter attack will always be wrong, especially with he likes to kill an embopi right now: i’m leaning, a psg just 2 1, oh the kiss of death. For you, jules any sort of optimism excitement you had going into that as, if you’re going to ask me as if you’re wondering who i’m gon na say i’m with shakka, and we shaka, i believe everything shaka says anyway, as long as he doesn’t jigs phd like He jinxed into milan uh before the europa, the europa league finals. So i hope i hope shaka is right. Shaka is always right, usually so that should be fine, oh yeah right. This could be one of jules’s greatest weeks ever you could see psg win the title and then on monday gab is on holiday as well, so it will be jules and romo for the latest edition of the gaffing jewels podcast be sure to download that well. Thank you very much for watching espn on youtube for more sports, highlights and analysis be sure to download the espn app and for live streaming premium.